What is Virabhadrasana III in Yoga?Tips, Techniques, and More

Warrior III Pose, also known as Virabhadrasana III in Sanskrit, is a balance yoga pose for intermediate and advanced practitioners. This standing pose improves focus and concentration by promoting balance on the sides of the body and strengthening the legs and abdominal muscles.

You can incorporate it into an energetic standing yoga sequence for your home practice. This is an invigorating pose that will not only help you strengthen your lower body and core, but also focus.


Getting Started with Warrior III Pose: The Right Technique

When you practice this asana, you will feel empowered, energized, and strong. Here is a step-by-step tutorial for practicing Warrior III:

  • From Tadasana, place your arms by your sides and your feet hip-distance apart. Breathe easily and softly, bringing your awareness to the present moment.
  • Turn left, 4 to 5 feet apart. Turn your right foot 90 degrees so that your toes point to the top of the mat. Rotate your left foot inward at a 45-degree angle. Your pelvis and torso should point in the same direction as your right toes.
  • Bend your right knee over your right ankle, aligning your calf with the floor. Raise your arms over your shoulders, palms facing each other. This is my posed warrior (Virabhadrasana I).
  • Your right foot should bear the brunt. As you lower your chest, lift your left leg so your body is parallel to the ground. Your arms will now be stretched forward, still stretched.
  • As if you were pushing a wall behind your back, bend your left foot and extend through your heel.
  • Maintain strong engagement of your leg muscles. Continue to lift your left leg as you straighten your standing leg, but don’t lock your knee.
  • Work to keep your arms, chest, hips, and raised legs parallel to the floor. To get your hips parallel to the mat, you may need to lower the hips of the raised leg slightly.
  • Extend your entire body from your fingers to your raised heels.
  • Look at the floor a few feet in front of you.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds to release, exhale and gently lower left foot to the floor, returning to Warrior I.
  • Drop your arms and move forward into Mountain Pose. Repeat for the same length of time on the other side.


Warrior III Pose Benefits: Why Would You Do It?

Warrior III pose has many additional benefits for your physical and mental health. Check out the list of benefits of doing Warrior III pose below:

1) Remove excess fat

This pose helps to remove excess fat from the body. This is due to high levels of muscle activity that burn calories. Plus, the extended hold time for this pose helps with calorie burn.

2) Improve digestion

By stretching the abdominal muscles and the entire digestive system, this pose aids in digestion and excretion. Deep breathing in this pose helps oxygenate and improve organ function.

3) Back strengthening

The Warrioir III pose is great for building back strength. It requires a lot of spinal extension and flexion, which helps tone and strengthen these muscles. It also helps improve posture and alignment.

4) Improve mind and body control

The Warrior III pose requires a lot of coordination and balance. This is a great way to hone these abilities. It can also help develop strength and stability in the ankles and hips.

5) Participate in the core

When doing Warrior III, the core muscles must be fully engaged. This improves stability and balance while strengthening these muscles.

6) Enhanced flexibility

This pose stretches the hips and legs nicely. It stretches the hamstrings, calves, and ankle muscles while opening the hip joints. This may help increase flexibility in these areas.


Tips to remember to avoid common mistakes

Follow these tips to avoid mistakes and get the most out of the position and avoid injury:

  • Your entire body should be parallel to the ground and in a straight line. Raising your thighs too high can put pressure on your lower back or cause your head to tip forward.
  • Your head should be in line with your chest and spine, not bowed or cocked, as this can lead to a strained neck. Keep your gaze down, with your eyebrows pointing towards the other wall.
  • To protect the joint, keep the supporting knee slightly supple. Instead, focus on supporting the body by resisting the tibialis muscle.
  • Focus on the soles of your feet instead of shifting your weight to your heels. Too much heel pressure can negatively affect our posture. Warrior III encourages yogis to lean more forward on the balls of their feet and balance their weight.

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Edited by Sabine Algur